Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has humbly responded to comments made in jest about his faith and football by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The two athletes have slightly different perspectives on God and football: Wilson, 26, is open about his belief that God determines the outcome of games, while Rodgers has publicly disagreed.
"I don't think God cares a whole lot about the outcome," Rodgers previously said during an interview on ESPN radio. "He cares about the people involved, but I don't think he's a big football fan."
Before appearing in Super Bowl XLIX, Wilson argued that God does in fact care about NFL games: "I think God cares about football," Wilson said. "I think God cares about everything He created."
The LA Times notes that earlier this month, Rodgers took a subtle jab at Wilson when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 27-17. "I think God was a Packers fan tonight, so he was taking care of us," the athlete joked.
Rodgers' quip was reportedly made in response to Wilson's comment about God watching out for the Seahawks during their victory over the Packers in the NFC championship game in January.
"That's God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special," Wilson told Sports Illustrated of the 28-22 overtime win.
During his weekly media session last Thursday, Wilson was asked about Rodgers' comment.
"I think that in terms of that comment and all that, everybody has the right to their own opinion," Wilson responded, KIRO-AM in Seattle reports. "I know for me, I'm just grateful that God has given me the opportunity to play the great game of football. I'm so grateful."
Wilson added, "I know one of the things my parents always taught me was just to continue to remain humble in your victories and your losses," Wilson said. "I think that's just the thing that I'm grateful for, just to be able to play the game of football. I love it. Like I said, everybody is entitled to their own opinion."
The athlete's humility - as demonstrated in his response to Rodger's comment - is just one example of what makes his faith so compelling to a watching world, writes secular writer and HuffPost contributor Candice Russell.
"Russell Wilson's brand of Christianity never feels judgmental or fueled by hate," she writes. "On the contrary, it is full of a joy so contagious that even if you don't follow the same religious tenets you can't help but feel the power of positivity that his faith radiates. His love for his God is private and personal while at the same time being completely revealed in the way he lives life every day. Full of a deeper purpose he pulls from a faith that he wears proudly, one he never takes off regardless of the season. He doesn't have to tell you he is a Christian for you to know that there is something higher driving every single thing he does, on the field and off. In a time where Christianity has little or nothing to do with Christ, Russell is a shining example of what walking like Jesus actually looks like."